My life with Mary Lee is busy and varied. The road to the hospital is well-traveled, and even though our surface streets are fairly level, in the highway of my heart there have been unanticipated turns and hills and valleys mixed in with a few flat tires of the soul. How I love Mary Lee, dear friend and role-model extraordinaire to my two children.
These last nearly 8 weeks now have been dedicated to walking out devotion. I decided last night that I would set my alarm for seven this morning. I'm happy to report that I didn't get up until 8 a.m. Ah, rest. Rest is needed on devotion's way. A morning for coffee. The windows are open. The birds choose their notes carefully and with unpredicted punctuation, they sing. As I sat waiting for the coffee to brew, I opened my Bible to Isaiah 61, where I'd also read last night, and re-read the passage. It didn't take long to find the verse that my soul needed to camp on. Verse one says, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good new to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound..", and the passage continues to verse two. Upon reading it, I closed my eyes as the tears began to fall. And in my weakness and slight weariness, I cried. " I can't do this, I can't do it." It was a quiet plea for help. I can't be any of this: I can set no one free, I can't bind anyone's wounds, I can't open anything for anyone. Not me. Labor without God is just that, labor. Labor with God brings life. So today my prayer is that the Spirit of the living and sovereign Lord would be on me, and that the outgo of labor would be an overflow of God's life, the life of Christ in and upon me.
God, if you don't do it through me, then it's merely labor and in labor there's no freedom, no liberty, no binding up of broken things. Let this labor of love result in life; life for anyone whose heart is touched and awakened as devotion is walked out in sincere love before them.